Episode 21: How to Optimize Your Thyroid with Elle Russ
Click Here to listen on iTunes or the embedded link below:
- Getting to know Elle Russ, the author of The Paleo Thyroid Solution. [00:02:34]
- Elle shares her journey to be the expert she is today. [00:04:43]
- Synthetic thyroid medications and its current usage in America. [00:07:44]
- Various symptoms Elle had. [00:08:35]
- Elle shares how she found the solution she needs for her thyroid problems. [00:20:18]
- Tests Elle most commonly recommends to people as a starting place. [00:25:38]
- In some cases, paleo and keto does not work so well with people with Hashimoto's or thyroid issues. Is it related to too much carbohydrate restriction for some women or for certain cases? [00:32:00]
- In your book, do you talk about more paleo or more low carb or more keto or can they all be applied to healing the thyroid? [00:41:33]
- Why do you think so many people have had really good success with their thyroid and keto? [00:43:01]
- In general, do you recommend a really gradual approach? [00:44:06]
- Could you think about thyroid hormone replacement as more of a supplement than a medication? [00:48:39]
- Elle's take on carnivore. [00:50:01]
- Can you paint a picture for us of what health and life looks and feels like for you today having such an optimized thyroid? [00:59:05]
- Where can people find out more about Elle's book and follow her online? [01:02:13]
- Mark Sisson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Sisson
- Robb Wolf https://robbwolf.com/
- Steven Gundry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Gundry
- Brad Kearns https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brad_Kearns
- Tony Federico https://www.paleofx.com/speakers/tony-federico/
Selected Links from the Episode
- Keto Essentials: 150 Ketogenic Recipes to Revitalize, Heal, and Shed Weight by Vanessa Spina. https://www.amazon.com/Keto-Essentials-Ketogenic-Recipes-Revitalize/dp/1628602643
- Subscribe on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/ph/podcast/fast-keto-with-ketogenic-girl/id1344681226?mt=2 or your favorite podcast app.
- Fast Keto with Ketogenic Girl website http://fastketo.libsyn.com/website
- Ketogenic Girl website https://www.ketogenicgirl.com
- Ketogenic Girl on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRbb6xK4GpWtUIc9wxknKTw
- Ketogenic Girl on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Theketogenicgirl/
- Ketogenic Girl on Twitter https://twitter.com/search?q=ketogenic%20girl&src=typd&lang=en
- Ketogenic Girl on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/ketogenicgirl/?hl=en
- Elle Russ website http://www.elleruss.com
- Elle Russ on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/elleruss/
- Elle Russ on Twitter https://twitter.com/_elleruss?lang=en
- Elle Russ on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/_elleruss/?hl=en
- Primal Blueprint podcast http://blog.primalblueprint.com
- The Paleo Thyroid Solution on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Paleo-Thyroid-Solution-Fatigued-Uninformed/dp/1939563240
- Free thyroid guide from Elle https://mailchi.mp/4317dbe343b8/thyroid-guide
Vanessa: [00:00:00] Hey guys! Welcome to Fast Keto. I'm your host, Ketogenic Girl.
[00:00:17] Hey guys! Welcome to this week's episode of Fast Keto. Today, I have the absolute pleasure of having Elle Russ joining us. She is the bestselling author of the Paleo Thyroid Solution. She's also the main host of Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint podcast. She is the Thyroid Queen. She has such great information on the thyroid. She shares her personal journey and how she went through so many health struggles until she figured out her thyroid and also adopted a paleo low carb lifestyle. We just had such a great chat today. It's so informative. She provides all the information need on exactly what to get tested, where to find resources. She is such a wonderful resource, so I hope that you guys really enjoy today's episode with Elle Russ.
[00:01:04] If you haven't checked out my cookbook yet, it is Keto Essentials on Amazon. It features a full guide to doing keto -- how do you test yourself, analyze results, what keto is, why it works as well as 150 of my absolute favorite keto recipes. So, if you haven't checked it out yet, it's Keto Essentials on Amazon. Check it out. Leave me a review. Let me know what you think. Tag me in any photos that you post. I absolutely love love love seeing those. That's Keto Essentials on Amazon.
A few disclaimers. By listening to this podcast, you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice as I am not a qualified healthcare provider. The information presented on this podcast is for educational purposes only. Ketogenic Girl is not qualified to provide medical advice. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having. This entire disclaimer also applies to any guest or contributors to this podcast.
Prior to beginning a ketogenic diet, you should undergo a full health screening with your physician to confirm that a keto diet is suitable for you and to rule out any conditions or contraindications that may pose risks or that are incompatible with a ketogenic diet. A keto diet may or may not be appropriate for you if you have any kind of health condition whether known to you or unknown, so you must consult your physician to find this out. Anyone under the age of 18 should consult with their physician and their parents or legal guardian.
Vanessa: [00:02:29] Welcome Elle! It's so great to have you on the show today. How is it going?
Elle: [00:02:32] Good. Thanks for having me. I'm glad to be here.
Vanessa: [00:02:34] Now Elle, for anyone who may not be familiar with your work kit or your book which we're going to get into, can you tell us a little bit about your background?
Elle: [00:02:42] Sure. Yeah. I never initially planned on being in the health sphere. I am a writer who's in the entertainment industry. And then what happened is as I got hit with a horrible bout of hypothyroidism, I went undiagnosed for a couple of years. I went through two dozen doctors and endocrinologist, no one could help me. What happened is I actually ended up doing it myself. I ended up being my own doctor and I ended up dosing myself back to health twice in 10 years. Once with hypothyroidism and the other with a very severe reverse T3 form of hypothyroidism which is kind of on the rise. Both times I had to do that. I didn't have a doctor to help me and that is a problem because I don't have an MD and I shouldn't have had to do that in the city of Los Angeles with celebrity star anti-aging and hormonal doctors, but the truth is that most of the doctors out there are uninformed about how to treat this. And so, patients stay sick, 60% are undiagnosed. People are on thyroid hormones - they're still not doing great. The doctor keeps telling them their thyroid is fine. It's not bad.
[00:03:38] And so, I just was compelled once I met Mark Sisson, the bestselling author of the Primal Blueprint and the Keto Reset, I started working for him and really learned about ancestral health and then got certified. All the connections were made. And so, I'm probably the first person out there to really make these connections and there are some really true connections between paleo, primal, ancestral health, and thyroid hormone metabolism. So, it just kind of became a compulsion to write it. Mark at the time, Mark Sisson really wanted to do a thyroid book and so it's called The Paleo Thyroid Solution. You don't have to buy my book to get help. If you're suffering you can just go to my website, elleruss.com and there's a free thyroid guide that tells you every test to get, where you can find a doctor in your state or country. So many great free resources because one of the things was I spent over $15,000 of my own money. I went totally broke at the time pursuing the entertainment industry not making a lot of money to begin with and then having to go out of network outside of my PPO to pay all this money for waste of time, for misdiagnosis, for all this stuff. It just was about time that we clear this up. So that's why I wrote the book.
Vanessa: [00:04:43] That's fantastic. Can you tell us a bit about your journey, a little bit more in depth? I heard you speak when you did a really great interview online and it was just really inspiring. Not only all your knowledge on the thyroid. I just feel like you explain it really well. And how the thyroid is the master gland and kind of the connection for you. What did you have to do in order to figure this out?
Elle: [00:05:05] Well, it took a lot of--. At the time that I was going through this there really wasn't anything about paleo, ancestral health, and there really wasn't a lot of information online about how to treat this properly. Now there is but when I was going through it 15 years ago or so, I had other fellow patients like me who were on a forum when that online free Yahoo group is still there called Natural Thyroid Hormones Yahoo Group. There's moderators on there that are fellow patients. They'll look at your labs and kind of give you patient-to-patient/peer advice and direct you in the right way. These fellow women saved my life because they directed me to look into things that doctors weren't looking into. And so, I eventually just started doing it on my own.
[00:05:42] I will say this though for anyone out there. Hypothyroidism is horrific. Okay? When it's not caught quickly, and it becomes pervasive it's a domino effect in the body where you are accelerating aging in a point that you can't even believe. You can barely get out of bed. You have no energy. You can't think. Your brain doesn't work. You're absolutely clinically, biologically depressed because we have more T3 receptors in our brain than anywhere else. I had a fibroid and a polyp that was removed from my uterus. I had horrible bleeding issues. Usually women will find that hypothyroidism manifests itself gynecologically either infertility, miscarriages, or just weird like endometriosis, fibroids, you know weird stuff.
[00:06:19] And it all goes back to the thyroid. Someone goes to the doctor; they're depressed, they put him on Prozac, but it wasn't that. It was your thyroid. That will work for three months then it won't work. Someone comes in. "Oh, your lipid panel is bad. We need to put you on stents and you just seeing to stop eating fat and cheese." No! It's the thyroid. Check the thyroid. The thyroid gets fixed, the lipid panel gets fixed. High blood pressure? Up, thyroid. So, if you're going to a doctor that doesn't understand how to diagnose or treat you for thyroid problems then you're also asking for a host of patch work being done on your life because other diseases will pop up because you're probably still hypothyroid because you're untreated, and then those doctors are just going to keep patching all of those things. You're going to go down this road where you think everything's wrong with you and you're falling apart and it's not true. It's just your thyroid.
[00:07:03] It's really anything in this world. It is the master gland. We can't live without it. It is responsible for the control of every metabolic process in our body, heart rate, fat metabolism, energy, brain function, blood pressure, etcetera. So, if it's off, the rest your life is going to be off. And so, you can see the domino effect of problems when you go to a doctor that's uninformed and you trust your life with them because they have an MD from Harvard, you think you can trust them. So, it's really important. The biggest message from my book is if you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism or you're having a thyroid issue right now you need to learn all that you can learn because you might know more than your doctor, you might be able to help your doctor help you, or you're going to need to learn enough to know if you're with the right one.
Vanessa: [00:07:44] I think that's such a great way to put it. We all have to become advocates for our own health and partner with a great physician that can help with that. What really astonished me, I think when I was listening to your talk and I've read your book and it's also quite good, it was the number of people who are on synthetic thyroid. I mean did you say it was the largest or second largest selling medication or something?
Elle: [00:08:07] It's the number one medication in our country, America. It is Synthroid, which is by the way not even the most optimal form of thyroid hormone replacement treatment, but it is the number one. That's not even including the desiccated or compounded or anything else. Yeah, 200 million people in the world have hypothyroidism with thyroid disorders. About 8 out of 10. It's disproportionally women's disease although men do get it. 23+ million Americans have it. 60% are undiagnosed. It's a disaster.
Vanessa: [00:08:35] Imagine. Yeah. If everyone was diagnosed as wel.l I mean there's so many people probably walking around who are wondering what's wrong with them. That's why your book is so important because it does affect so much of how we feel. And so, for you, what were your main symptoms in particular?
Elle: [00:08:51] I had over 30, which I put in the book, but I'll rattle off a couple of them. I mean aside from horrific depression. Listen, this is very depressing. It's not just because your body is falling apart, it's because literally your brain can't think right. T3 levels do correspond with happiness. They treat depression with thyroid hormones so very depressed. Brain not able to think. Inner itching of the ears which is also candida. Heavy legs. Feeling like every time you take a step you're walking with like cement legs. Extreme skin thickening. This is a horrible thing that happens called myxedema where your skin thickens all around your body, and it feels horrific just like it sounds, and it's disgusting. You can only pinch a huge chunk of skin versus being able to pinch with your fingers a tiny bit of skin. That is something that happens.
[00:09:34] As a result of that and the general bloating and inflammation, every time you bend your leg you feel like you drink a bottle of soy sauce or MSG. Puffy eyes, puffy face, hair falling out, loss of curliness in hair, extreme constipation to the point where no laxatives will work, any kind of sexual. Like I've mention I developed a fibroid and a polyp in my uterus and abnormal bleeding. I also was misdiagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome and that is an example of you will get diagnosed with something you otherwise would not have gotten in a hypothyroid state. So, anyone diagnoses you with anything in this world, I don't care what it is, cancer to hypothyroidism, you get the thyroid checked properly because it is at the root of it all, the entire body.
[00:10:15] Other symptoms are--. Usually hypothyroid patients because they have no energy because there's no thyroid hormones or very low amount, their adrenals start to overact. So, most hypothyroid patients end up severely hypothyroid and in a place of adrenal fatigue which I was there twice. Adrenal fatigue is terrible. When your adrenal gland sort of tap out, kind overproduce cortisol you get really fat around your middle. When you have adrenal issues, you become very sensitive to light, sound, and smells. Extremely sensitive. Like can't deal with perfumes, can't deal with other people's perfumes, can't listen to music, can't have loud sounds. For the first time, all of a sudden, you notice your neighbor is upstairs if you are living in an apartment, they're all loud but you never noticed it for years because it just didn't even-- you know things like that. Being very overwhelmed with multitasking.
Vanessa: [00:11:02] I never knew about that sensitivity. I thought that was just me. I get enraged when people wear perfume around me.
Elle: [00:11:09] No. It's an adrenal thing because once I fixed my thyroid and adrenals, and this usually happens to people, you become less sensitive to those things. Meaning like you can multitask and you're not overwhelmed. Also too you get to be in the light perfumes and oils and sense again where like literally I had a friend who wear this perfume and I was like "Oh my God, I can't." Like you just can't deal with it. So, what does that breed? You know what that breeds? That breeds really crappy relationships with people because people think you're a pain in the ass and an asshole because you're like complaining or you're like "I can't handle it." "Tune down the music in the car." "I can't hear it." You become one of these people and it really also-- there's a big chapter in my book -- it really can mess up relationships. There are people that are still apologizing to their kids because they were parents when they were untreated or undiagnosed. There are people that are fired from their jobs or people that get divorced because again you have someone who's undiagnosed. They've gone to 15 doctors like me. The husband is watching the wife become someone she wasn't. "I didn't marry this. She went to 15 doctors. It must be in her head." You see people start to think you're crazy. Okay?
[00:12:12] This brings you very terrible stuff because you don't know what's going on, you don't know why you're acting this way, you wish you were different but you're a sensitive mess. You don't have the wherewithal to operate with any kind of self-confidence or self-worth. When you're overwhelmed, and you're testing, you're tired, you know I have friend call me after this was all over, a male friend of mine who literally teared up on the phone and he said "I'm so sorry. We didn't know what it was then. I just thought you are such a party pooper. I was so angry that you didn't want to go out at night and hang out and do stuff." You know? Because I wasn't fun. Because you don't want to go out. Because you're trapped in your own body.
[00:12:48] I just want to clear this up to people. This is not about "Oh I got fat." When normal people with no thyroid problems get shonky, yeah that feels uncomfortable. They got a little weight on them. That's not hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is feeling like shit on so many level. It's not just that you're getting fat. You literally want to jump out of your skin. You can't even live in the body you're in. It is the most depressing thing. I'm telling everyone right now. I'm a totally happy individual. I'm joking around nonstop. But back when I was hypothyroid, you would have seen me sob my eyes out many times a day for years until I fixed it.
[00:13:22] Okay, here's the scary thing about it and this is what people who are listening… If you don't have physical symptoms like by the way temperature, so if you're freezing all the time that's 100% indication. If you're that person that's always cold, cold hands and feet. Your hands and feet shouldn't be hot. Okay? Normally it's--. Okay, but it would be uncomfortable meaning you're cold. Like you have to put the sweater on when other people don't. You know who you are if you're one of those people. So that's another indication.
Vanessa: [00:13:44] I love that you're bringing up this aspect in particular because I have never come across this aspect of being hypersensitive to your environment. I can really relate to it. I mean I was someone who always loved burning essential oils, who loved scents. I went through this period where I said I'd get enraged if I would walk into a department store and they had a lot of perfumes or I would get upset at my husband for putting music on too loud, and our neighbors. I don't have any of that anymore. I think that's a really cool aspect of it. I always just thought I was like--.
Elle: [00:14:16] I'm glad I brought it up.
Vanessa: [00:14:17] Yeah, no. I think a lot of people can probably relate to it because I always said "Okay, it's an indicator that my adrenals are shot and I'm just irritable. I'm just irritable. But it's not. It's being sensitive. That's such a nicer way to frame it.
Elle: [00:14:30] I mean it's both and all. The other thing about it too is for people listening if there's any secret thoughts that someone is having who's listening like the following: "I think I'm getting dumber." Like "I think I'm aging." See, here's the thing. It's scary to kind of voice that you think your mind is going. It's not you're probably just hypothyroid by the way. Seriously, when you're hypothyroid your brain is a mess. Okay, you do feel dumb. You feel like you're getting stupid. You can't retain information. You have to read the same paragraph over again. You can't comprehend stuff. You are kind of in a fog and things don't make sense. Literally your brain is not working. That's scary for people, right? Because it's like "What's happening to me?" Because it's your brain.
[00:15:09] Cognitive function, I became dyslexic with my words. Look, I'm a quick, fast, articulate speaker. I'm bound to mumble, jumble something occasionally but I'm talking about like couldn't find the words and would be saying them backwards or jumping them. That is a really hard thing when you're searching for words and can't find them. It's a scary thing when your cognitive abilities start to decline. No matter what age you are but particularly if you're in your 30 or approaching, you might have that thought like "Oh, am I just getting older?" Or here's this thought. I had a friend who was having this happen to her, but she didn't have too many of the physical symptoms. Meaning it's not like she blew up and gained a ton of weight, but she had all the other symptoms. Most of hers was mental and depression. She heard me talking. Like I'm talking you. She heard me talking to someone about this. Afterwards she started crying. She's like "Oh my God." Her thing was she was like "Ooh, Aunt Mary had some mental problems." You see what I'm saying?
[00:16:00] You can start to then attach yourself to something in the family of someone--. And guess what? Is Aunt Mary really clinically, genetically crazy? Is your family full no? Aunt Mary probably had Hashimoto's or something that was untreated, and we don't know so let's not link ourselves with other family members who have gone down this path. We don't know what their bloodwork is. Until I see it, let's stop comparing ourselves to family members out there who got these other issues because when you see some in the family that's depressed… For example, I have a friend who has a brother who's older and kind always looked at home. Nice person but never really got it together. And then the aunt was a little bit. And so, she was like "Oh-oh." You know what I mean? Is this my lot? No. Again, don't lump yourself into a category with other people in your family unless you've diagnostically assessed because I don't trust it, right? They could have had something untreated that we don't know about. They could have low serotonin or just something simple. We don't know what made them depressed, what's the story or whatever but the bottom line is it's a scary thing to have that thought to think you're becoming dumber and you're aging. The thing is that it's true. It's really happening. When you're hypothyroid, it is a level of accelerated aging and inflammation that is only going to beget more problems. And so really, I look younger than I did at 32 and I'm 44 now. I look younger than I did then. You can bounce back from this for sure but it's a disaster when you wake up early morning you've got puffy eyes. It takes forever to really kind of get going. Really, everybody should be able to wake up and jump out of bed.
[00:17:27] Now, you don't have to be fired up and rush out the door but it's--. You got to be up. If it's taking you forever and dragging, that's adrenals, that's thyroid. I just want to mention some of those hidden symptoms because the mental emotional stuff is for real. I write letters to--. In my book there are some letters to employers, to family members, because I thought it was important to explain to the other person. Now, hand the book to your husband. Hand the book to your employer. There's people that quit jobs in accounting because they forget numbers. They can't think right anymore so they start to feel dumb, so they just quit because they're afraid of getting fired. There's a conversation you could have with your employer. "Hey, I'm going through this. This is fixable. It might take three six months. Can I have an easier workload? Can Jenny take over my stuff?" It's "Hey guys, hey family, I'm the homemaker. You all need to start cleaning and cooking dinner. I'm not doing it anymore." You need to ask for help. You need to ask for help and they need to understand why because it's not I'm lazy. It's I can't lift my arm today. I don't have the energy to stand up and clean the dishes. It's hard for a lot of women especially homemakers and moms to ask for help when they're that kind of homemaker/provider. Or it doesn't matter if you're a mom, you can just be that type of person. The hardest thing is but you really need to ask for help because you need to rest as much as possible while you're healing. You know what I mean?
[00:18:46] So, this are really tricky subjects because it involves the other people in our lives. Listen, I had a family member, I talked about this in the book, I had been to so many doctors, right? They were all failing me. I must have seemed like a hypochondriac and I had a family member go "One of these days you're going to have to listen to one of these doctors." Like totally screaming at me. And I was like FU. No, I don't. And you know what? Let me tell you something. I'm glad I didn't because I'd probably be dead by now. Okay? So, if your intuition is to keep going, keep searching, perseverance is the only reason I'm talking to you now. It's the only reason I ended up writing a book is because I didn't give up on myself. There was a point at which I had committed. I had thought about thinking about killing myself. Now, when I say that, I wasn't actively planning it. It was like the thought about going at some point it just doesn't get. better I'm going to have to think about thinking about it. That's a horrible thought I've never had since in my life. Never had it before. It just goes to show you how awful this is. You cannot live in this body. It's so frustrating. You got all these doctor knowing it's helping you. I won't point but if I have to go fly to an ashram in India or go to some--. I don't care where I have to go. I'll fly all over the world, but I will not live like this. I will not live like this. I'm telling you I was at the worst of the barrel at the bottom of the dumps of hypothyroidism with every imaginable symptom. I'm completely 180 bounce back. This is entirely fixable, and everyone needs to know that. It doesn't matter if you've been on thyroid medication for 10 years going to an endocrinologist and you're like "Well, never got better. I still haven't lost the weight." You're just with the wrong doctor and you just don't know enough as a patient, sorry to tell you that. Get educated.
Vanessa: [00:20:18] Right. Now, how did you find the solution for you? You mentioned you went into this yahoo group and then they kind of helped you figure out which tests to get and then you were able to fix some of the treatment and then also change your diet.
Elle: [00:20:32] At the time, I didn’t really change my diet. I didn't know about paleo primal then. And actually, no one knew. It wasn’t even out. It wasn’t even in the ether at that time. I just went down the road of making sure my iron stores fair and got up which is a very key component. I bought my own thyroid medication online, my own thyroid hormones. I dosed myself back to health. And then I was great!
[00:20:52] Now, here's the thing though. I was feeling great, and then I had this weight to lose that I gained which is often a symptom. At the time I was still in the old paradigm. I was still in the old sugar burning every two, three hours. This is how I think it's supposed to be. And then, a few years after being on natural desiccated thyroid I ran into a reverse T3 problem where the T4 stops to convert in the medication and then you're hypothyroid even though you're on thyroid hormones. I got very confused. Granted. I'm glad I had to go through it because then I could write about it and tell you that I experienced it but. I have experienced hyperthyroidism as well which is also unpleasant. This is a Goldilocks situation. Not too hot. Not too cold. It's the same as our planet. If we were too close to the sun, too far away, shoes would not work out the way it's working out right. So, it's the same way with our human bodies. You don't want too much thyroid output because that's bad and inflammatory. It can give you a heart attack. You don't want to low because then you're going to die slower but you're dying slowly.
[00:21:49] What I did is I dosed myself back into health. Then ran and do another problem. It was at that time after I fixed that one, fixed another bout of reversed T3 problem that I had gained again another 50 pounds. I'm like "What the hell? I got to go lose this weight." So, I started on that same paradigm. I'm like "I'll do high yoga five days a week. That should torch it." Not knowing that that was absolutely the worst thing I could do. It's only making the situation worse. I ended up not losing weight. I got fatter on the middle. I was inflamed. I'm like "What is happening?" Then I met Mark. I started working for him. Read his book but I was like "Whatever. I've read all these diet books. Yeah. yeah. Yeah." I just kind of discounted it. And then, after a while I was working for him I'm like--. You know he and his wife are like 20 years older than me and they looked way better than me. Like clearly, I'm doing something effing wrong here. Then I went back, and I watched this transformational seminar that he had done in Chicago many years ago. When I heard Mark speak and talk about ancestral health, I got it. The light bulb went off. When I started to follow ancestral health and primal diet all these things started changing. I went from like 100 micrograms of T3 to 50, then down to 40. Now I'm at 20. I started to lose the weight. I became less inflamed. I mean oftentimes hypothyroid patients become pre-diabetic in a hypothyroid state so the only way to get out of that and the only way to lose the weight you might gain from it, but still even if you're skinny fat and you didn't get fat the only way to really fix that is through a high fat moderate protein low carb paradigm, but that's not just the only reason.
[00:23:18] Paleo Thyroid Solution isn't "Oh, here's the stuff about medication." And then, you do this diet, so you lose the fat that you gained while you are hypo. That is part of it but the biggest part of it and this is what people who only dive in deep to the stuff are going to learn: Paleo primal ancestral health is the ultimate in blood glucose management, the ultimate in adrenal management. Those two things are 100% related to thyroid, testosterone, muscle building, etcetera. Everything. Cortisol. So, it's really the most human aligned… It is the only human diet. Period. End of story. But it is also the only paradigm completely aligned with how our hormonal systems work. That's kind of how you know it's the right one. Because it just lines up the DNA and with our body works. It lines up with proper thyroid hormone output and metabolism in every way.
[00:24:10] For example, sugar burners over exercise usually go above their max heart rate because they got to burn all the sugar that they just ate the previous day. And then they are on this hamster wheel. When you're fat adapted and you are paleo primal keto, you have really steady levels of blood glucose and not these crazy fluctuations that each time there's a fluctuation the adrenals are going to be like "We don't like that. We don't like that." It's going to output cortisol which is antagonistic. So, it's just amazing how well this is aligned. It even goes far as messages. So, over exercising sends a message to the thyroid that--. Particularly, if you're underweight, let's say you're training for marathon and you're just kind of a skinny runner but you're still on the wrong food paradigm, your body might see that training as a threat. Like "Oh, she's running from danger. Let's down regulate this thyroid because she's not getting enough to eat so she's starving." And since she puts more fat in her body, we're not going to give her any more of this fat burning T3. Furthermore, oh-oh, let's say there's an anorexic chick over there or a yoyo dieter, you can get this through dieting. It's called euthyroid sick syndrome where if you basically starve yourself or don't get proper nutrients your thyroid is going to down regulate because it's trying to save you. It's going "She can't get pregnant right now. She can't feed a baby. She's starving. She didn’t have much fat in herself. We're not going to--." You see? So, what are the messages in the form of mental, physical, and food are we sending to our body in the thyroid and that is all related in a paleo primal package that just works hand in hand perfectly.
Vanessa: [00:25:38] What tests did you do specifically or that you most commonly recommend to people as a kind of a starting place?
Elle: [00:25:47] Yeah. There's a million things that effect thyroid. Like if you have silver fillings in your mouth or heavy metal is mercury, this all effects thyroid. Okay? If you have Lyme Disease, that affects thyroid. A type two diabetes is also related as well. So, if you have type two, your thyroid could be off. But the basic six initial tests everyone should get are the following, and these are also in my free thyroid guide, but the following:
[00:26:08] TSH, free T4, free T3, reverse T3, and then everybody at least once - initially once to get the two Hashimoto's antibody test because you need to rule that out as to whether you have it or not. Those two antibody tests one is called TPO antibody or thyroid peroxidase antibody, usually seen on a form as TPOAb. The second one is TgAb or thyroid globulin antibody. You can get tested for both. Some doctors only test for one, usually the TPO. You need to get tested for both because some people have one and not the other or if they have both, etcetera. That's an important thing to assess and to look at and track those antibodies. There's really something that you can do about it. If you're listening and you've been on thyroid hormone for a while and every time you go and get checked, the doctor--. You've got like let's say 300 TPO antibodies, and the doctor's like "Yeah, whatever. Okay, you have Hashimoto's, so they are the antibodies." No! There's actually something you could do about it and most doctors do not realize that you can lower the antibodies.
[00:27:09] How? Number one, quitting grains. We know 100% for sure that grains especially gluten trigger Hashimoto's antibodies. Okay, why don't you want antibodies? Why do you want to do something about them? Whether you feel them or not. Like let's say you're in thyroid hormone replacement, you're doing well, you feel great, not hypo anymore but then these antibodies are going in the background and every time you get tested you're TPO antibodies are 300, 600, whatever. It doesn't matter but somewhere above the range of not low. Why does that matter? Because antibodies equal inflammation equal begetting more inflammation equal begetting more autoimmune problems.
[00:27:41] People with Hashimoto's have high antibodies that are untreated and under control often are allergic to the most random shit on planet Earth. Like they'll be allergic to tuna but not salmon, cotton but not like random allergies that once their thyroid is treated and those antibodies have gotten under control they're not allergic to any of it, so you want to do something about these antibodies, but most doctors don't even know you can. They don't know. They don’t know because they don't know about diet. They don't know about these stuff, so they just go "All right. Well, they're there. You're doing well. Your thyroid looks great, you feel great." But here's the thing, it's happening in the background and this just goes the same paradigm for athletes that are becoming pre-diabetic that are over carb-ing up and carbohydrate dependent. They may look great. They're your yoga instructor. They look fit and awesome but if you take their blood they're pre-diabetic. And then they're like "Wait. What? How does this--? How does that happen? I'm fit. I feel fine." Yeah. You never get away with it. You keep knocking on that pancreas door and you're not going to get away. You look like you get away with it, you ultimately won't, so don't go there. Stop tapping it. We do not want to tap the pancreas unnecessarily to release insulin. End of story. The longevity in all species are the ones that literally output the least amount of insulin. Okay?
[00:28:54] So, again that's why a lot of athletes are finding out that they're pre-diabetic because they have a shake before they run that's got a 130 grams of carbohydrates. Now they make--. But again, feeling burning, feeling burning. Every time you're doing that you're still knocking on the door of the pancreas. We don't want to do that unless we have to. We don't need to, and we shouldn't and it's dangerous and it's going to lead to a point where you won't get away with it. I hope that makes sense.
Vanessa: [00:29:17] Absolutely. It absolutely does. I think it's so interesting because you see that story happening over and over again. I have to say I'm so thankful that my body showed me that I was doing the wrong thing because I can't imagine being someone where your body doesn't show you anything and you look fantastic but on the inside you're just a total metabolic disaster like a ticking time bomb. So, I'm thankful that my body loves to put fat on so easily so that I have found this.
Elle: [00:29:47] You want to get fat. If you get type two diabetes and you get fat, that's a blessing. You want to get fat. You want all that glucose to be pushing to the fat cells, not running around your bloodstream. And then your skinny fat, that's even more dangerous and inflammatory. And you know it's a tricky thing because I interviewed Dr. Steven Gundry, who's a heart doctor, he said that every time he goes this classic, the fit tennis playing wife will come in with her you know whatever, unhealthy husband and he's got a heart problem and he tests both of them and sure enough he finds out that usually the fit wife is also severely inflamed in other ways. Right?
[00:30:22] I always say this: If you see some woman or man walk by and you're like "Wow! I wish I had her body." I'm like "Uh-uh! I want to see their blood work." Yeah, let's see your blood work. Let's see what's really going on in there because I don’t trust it. I don’t trust it.
Vanessa: [00:30:38] Hey guys, just taking a really quick break to talk about the 28-day Ketogenic Girl Challenge. If you're interested in doing a ketogenic diet for yourself, it's a great place to start. I teach you everything about how to follow a keto diet to get yourself into nutritional ketosis. It includes 28 days of meal plans. It comes with weekly shopping lists, how to interpret results, how to test yourself, a complete guide to getting started on keto.
If you've been keto for a while and you're just not getting the results that you want to in terms of your health or fat loss or you are brand new to keto, the 28-Day Challenge is a great option because it also comes with my free coaching and support in our members Facebook group and you can post any questions that you have about the meal plans, about keto, and I am there supporting you.
We have an amazing community in our group. I like to call it the happiest place on Earth because everybody in there is so excited about following keto, about having found something that really works well for them. Everyone in there is just so kind, caring, generous, and supportive. It's a really fun place to be and hang out. If you like more info on it, you can find it at ketogenicgirl.com. It's the 28-day Ketogenic Girl Challenge. Now, back to our interview.
Vanessa: [00:32:00] Absolutely. Now, I think what's really interesting, you know this is the keto podcast, but I'd love to know from you what you think of keto because it's endlessly fascinating to me. I've had so many women on my program who do keto who've had incredible improvements. I had one yesterday in our group who said she's gotten almost off all her Synthroid now and she had Graves. So, there's all these different permutations. There's all these different ways that the thyroid is connected back to paleo and keto but there are some people who have Hashi's or who have thyroid issues where keto ends up not messing them up per se but not working so well for them. So, I'm curious, do you think in some cases maybe it's too much carbohydrate restriction for some women or for certain cases?
Elle: [00:32:45] I'm really glad you brought this up. I want to set the record straight for all of these discussions which I keep trying to do every time we talk about this. I did it at Keto Effects two-hour discussion online summit. I also did it Paleo Effects as well. I have spoken with Robb Wolfe about it on his podcast and I'll talk about it here.
[00:33:00] Keto or low carb does not cause thyroid problems. Period. End of story. Anyone claiming that is ridiculous, and I'm going to tell you why. First of all, here's the thing. First of all, most people do keto wrong. They do keto wrong.
Vanessa: [00:33:14] I agree. Agree.
Elle: [00:33:16] Okay. So, perfect. Let's say you do keto wrong. Your appetite is suppressed which is a good thing. You kind of get off on that because it feels like a new drug and now you're restricting calories to the point where you are sending a wrong signal to the thyroid. Okay? Your thyroid is going to down regulate if it thinks it's starving so you need to do keto right.
[00:33:31] Another thing about keto most people don't realize is they need extra salt more so than most. There are so many different little tips and tricks people don't realize it's moderate or even lower protein. If you're going to venture down this road, educate yourself. You need to earn the right to go keto. Let's talk about this. I'll get into more thyroid stuff in a second.
[00:33:51] Our ancestors weren't keto 100% of the time. They were most of the time. Okay? No one would have been able to procreate or had babies if keto and low carb cause thyroid problems. Population wouldn't have happened. Okay? No one would have been able to bring a baby to full term, much less that baby survive. Okay? So, keto is a natural state. However, we went in and out of it. Okay? There were times we ran into a blueberry patch, right? There were times when we had vegetables or fruit. It wasn't nonstop all the time.
[00:34:20] I am more of the camp of Mark Sisson and Brad Kearns of keto as a sort of general state unannounced the metabolic flexibility. Now, if you have a traumatic brain injury or you have Parkinson's, or there's some other health concern, or Alzheimer, where keto is really going to be key -- Sure! You can do it in a medicinal kind of series approach where you're testing your blood ketones and everything else. Let's look at all the people who go to keto. How many people were hypothyroid to begin with? If you've had trouble losing weight, you go keto. If you don't see a difference in six weeks, something else is going on. Either you're getting it wrong or you've got a metabolic issue that's preventing you from getting in to keto.
[00:35:01] People who are hypothyroid who know it and then they write me and then they'll go "I went keto and I haven't lost a pound." You are asking your body to get in a metabolic state. It can't. It's just like asking to light a wet log. It makes no sense. So, you have to understand, being hypothyroid means no metabolism. Now, you are asking your no metabolism no log on the fire body to get into a metabolic state to burn fat when it's happening anyway? You're only going to get fat. You're only going to get fatter doing keto if you're hypo because you can't process fat anyway not doing high fat. Now the liver panel is off and "Oh, lipid panel." Here's the other thing. Why does it make things better sometimes if you're very overweight and you are kind of going in that inflammatory pre-diabetic route? Yeah, keto can make you more insulin sensitive which will definitely improve thyroid status. Okay? They can go hand in hand for sure.
[00:35:51] I suggest that everybody who is hypo at the very least goes on a general paleo primal ancestral low carb paradigm. At least under 150 grams total carbohydrates a day. If you are a small woman like myself. I'm 5'2. If you're 5'5 maybe it's more than 100 grams a day of carbohydrates just to start out and then you can find your own carbohydrate threshold. We run into problems when we look at macronutrient calculators and we are too rigid and strict.
[00:36:17] To ask a person who's got no metabolism who is crazy wonky bread sugar and screwed up adrenals to do intermittent fasting, first all that, person would be suffering. It wouldn’t feel good. I can do--. I ask because I'm fat adapted and I'm not hypo anymore, right. I can do whatever I want because I'm "normal". Right? I have a normal working human metabolism.
[00:36:38] Now, there's one other scenario. There's a guy in our paleo primal space. His name's Tony Federico. I've interviewed him before. He used to be a paleo magazine radio host, but he doesn't have a thyroid gland. He's probably 35 maybe. He doesn’t have a thyroid gland. It was removed when he was a kid. Now, when you don't have a thyroid gland you have to be on thyroid hormones or you'll die. You literally will die. If Tony was stranded on an island without thyroid meds he'll eventually die. Okay? Because you have to have the thyroid hormones. If you don't have the gland, you're in trouble on a stranded island. Tony is very delved with his health. He's very paleo primal. He's extremely fit. When you look at his labs, he can have a little bit lower of a T3 result because he has become, a term I coined called, T3 efficient.
[00:37:21] It's like this: When you go down the paleo primal path, you become more metabolically and calorically efficient. Meaning, when you get fat adapted you eventually eat way less calories than you once did because you need way less to fuel you now because you're more metabolically efficient you become calorically efficient. The same thing can happen down the road with T3 with thyroid hormones. The more you optimize this primordial baseline that's receiving these hormones the more efficiently they're metabolize and sometimes the less you need. The only warning is this: Let's say you're on thyroid hormones. You're fine. You're doing great. All the symptoms are gone, your attempts are great. You're like "I feel great. Now, I just need to torch this fat. If you wanted to go down the road of being keto, you can do that, but you need to know this. If you plan on being in that strict state for more than eight weeks or something you will want to get your thyroid retested because you might need to lower your dose because you might become more efficient at it. This is not to be tinkered with lightly and too many people do.
[00:38:19] Listen. When I was hypo back in the day, I went on Atkins. I got so fat because I was eating all this fat and I had no metabolism. I was hypothyroid. Why did I go to Atkins? Because I was like "Oh my God, what's happening? I need to lose weight. Apparently, this is the only way to do it." Right? So, you arrive--. Like in every day, I get e-mails every day from people. It's the same thing. It's "I tried keto. I'm going keto so that I can--. You don't understand. It's a misguided effort." You're trying to light a wet log until that log is dry, meaning until you are not hypothyroid, it's not going to work. It's terrible to think of that. Okay? If you think this exercise is the big thing, this is me too, you want to go exercise because you're getting fatter by the minute so you want to try to get ahead of it but every time you exercise you're actually taking five steps backwards because now you've over exhausted your adrenals again and now it's inflammatory because you're hypo and it's so frustrating because people are like "When can I work out? When can I lift weights again? When am I going to lose this weight?" You will lose the weight when you get out of a hypothyroid state. And then from there, anything you do is going to work metabolically if it's in the right paradigm. Does that makes sense? Because I really want to hit this home. There's so many false bullshit accusations about low carb or keto causing something. There is no evidence to that. And even if there are some studies, words like "Oh, someone went keto." And then their conversion rate of thyroid hormone is lowered. Yeah, maybe because they became more efficient or were they doing it wrong and starving themselves and that's why it was dial back. There are no legitimate studies and diagnostics. I would love to see anyone send me something that is legit. There isn't. There just isn't.
[00:39:48] I really like the Keto Reset by Mark Sisson and Brad Kearns, New York Times' bestselling book on keto because you have to earn the right to get there. You really do. If you try to go from being a sugar burner carbohydrate dependent person into going to keto it's going to be painful and it's not going to go well. It's not going to go well. You need to get fat adapted first. You need to turn on these fat burning switches. Up regulate these genetics. And you need to go down that road for six to eight weeks and then they have a test in the book that you take that says, you know it's really about how you feel. Can you go to one o'clock and have a workout and wake up and not at all eat anything and feel totally fine? If the answer is no, you're not ready to go keto. You're not fat adapted yet.
[00:40:26] I really like their book because it's a gradual way to do it. Anyone who tries to jump into it, good luck. You'll fail. It will backfire. You will get frustrated and it will not feel good. I understand the rush to lose weight but you can't even attempt it unless you're not hypothyroid. The first order of business is fixing the thyroid and sometimes that means chilling out on the exercise because that's actually going to be the thing that helps you lose the weight where while you're getting fat you want to go workout. Some people are like "Yeah, but I feel better after I work out." I'm like "Yeah. Because all you are is running on adrenal, so you go work out and then you just have a blast of cortisol and adrenaline, and guess what? That's that "runner's high." Runner's high? That thing we talked about is actually not healthy. Okay? It's great doing it once week. It's not a good sign. Once a week you do high intensity interval training, that's good. That's going to--. We want a change in cortisol and those things to get like spiked occasionally in that way in those short burst but you're on that treadmill every day going over 75% of your max heart rate or you could just do 180 minus your age. If you're going over that heart rate, you're primarily burning glucose. As a fat burner you don't do that. You just need the fat burning stage for the most part unless you're going to sprint session.
Vanessa: [00:41:33] Yeah. And so, in your book, do you talk about more paleo or more low carb or more keto or can they all be applied to healing the thyroid?
Elle: [00:41:42] They're all applied except for keto. I tell people unless you have solved your hypothyroidism, don't go keto. Now, you can go low carb. It doesn’t mean you can't hang out 60 grams of carbs a day or whatever. I just wouldn't try to get in no metabolic state unless my metabolism is already set to where it needs to be to and where it actually functions in that state. So, for people that are actually hypothyroid that are on their way to getting better whether it's naturally through natural protocol or whether it's through thyroid hormone replacement, they can start to go down the road of again cleaning up [unclear 00:42:11]. Just get the diet cleaned out, get all those crazy triggers inflammatory. It's the most also anti-inflammatory and then once you're doing well and most of these symptoms have subsided and you're feeling good and labs are good unless there's attempts on diagnostics then from that platform you can attempt a higher metabolic situation. But only from there so I don't suggest it unless someone is already--. Unless again there was a couple cases. So, for example let's say you're obese and that's why you have the thyroid problems like because you're type two and you've gotten--. Or didn't have to be obese but let's say you've gotten that point, yes then maybe ketosis would really help insulin sensitivity and thyroid sensitivity there but that again would be kind of a unique scenario. For the most part you can go lower carb and not go keto and still achieve these things along the way.
Vanessa: [00:43:01] Why do you think so many people have had really good success with their thyroid and keto?
Elle: [00:43:08] Again, this is another thing that's interesting which is what were they eating before they went keto? Were they still eating grains? Were they still eating like--? What kind of keto were they doing? Do you see what I mean? Because just cleaning up grains in someone's life and getting rid of that was that the thing that did it or was it the low carb thing that did it? Because getting rid of the grains would… I'm sure that the Hashimoto's clean up the gut, help conversion in the gut, help to clear up things like candida and leaky gut and all those things are antagonistic and could trip the thyroid. Chicken egg, which came/which disappeared first? Do you know what I mean?
Vanessa: [00:43:38] Right. And getting rid of the sugar too.
Elle: [00:43:41] There's no comprehensive study that can prove that. Yeah, someone say that to me like "I went low carb. My thyroid got--." I'd be like "Prove it. Prove to me that that happens." I don't think you can. Right? You'd have to check every diagnostic situation on a person. Krebs cycle, organic acid. You have to do everything and then have them go keto and see if it's screwed up. I don't think it would. Do you know what I mean? Not to mention, are they doing it right? Does that make sense?
Vanessa: [00:44:06] It does. So, in general you kind of recommend a really gradual approach. Go low carb first. Heal the thyroid. And you can do that with a combination of low carb diet and also medication?
Elle: [00:44:16] Yeah. You could do that or here's the thing. I mean I have a protocol in my book. It's like "Look. I've seen people turn thyroid stuff around in 68 weeks naturally by just quitting gluten and optimizing some nutrients. Okay? I mean really. Sometimes it's so dumb that it's literally--. I've had so many people who it's literally just been a ferritin iron storage issue. If you don't have proper iron storage, your own thyroid hormones or the ones you've taken out of a bottle can't get to where they need to go, you'll never get better. That's a big nuance to thyroid health is that iron storage in most women become depleted in it. Why? Not just because of bleeding because when you're hypothyroid everything's low. Right? Hypo - sluggish, low.
[00:44:54] When you start to eat food, you produce less hydrochloric acid. You can't break down the food. You can't break down the nutrients. Now, your gut is compromised in general. You can't absorb it. That's why you're constipated. That's why you get low in Vitamin D. That's why you can't absorb iron no matter how much liver you eat. Your body will not hold on to these things in a hypothyroid state, so you need to get un-hypothyroid as you go down the road of optimizing these nutrients because hypothyroid patients are classically low in ferritin, Vitamin D, B12. This is just classic because your body can't hold onto these stuff.
[00:45:24] So, it's kind of a multi-pronged approach where you're taking some nutrients and you're optimizing it as you're getting rid of all the antagonistic stuff going on or like I had to get a silver filling removed from my mouth and do a mercury detox as well. There's lots of different things but for the most part a lot of that could be achieved by just adopting an ancestral paleo primal clean diet or if you have Hashimoto's you can always look into the auto immune protocol or the AIP and there's definite food charts and stuff online. If you have severe gut issues, fad map. There are a lot of strict protocols for eating in what you--. Basically, mouth to anus which is the patient's responsibility. I'll say this: No one's ever going to get better if you just take a thyroid hormone pill from your doctor. You have to make sure that what you're taking is getting assimilated, metabolize properly, and affecting the cells. The best primordial soup and baseline to receive that is a paleo primal fat adapted baseline because of all the things I told you - blood glucose management, adrenal. Right? Cleaning all the junk, clearly. Canola oils and stuff that are--. Yeah.
[00:46:26] So, it's a domino effect but again your gut and all of those things can't heal without proper thyroid hormone so at least though if your natural protocol doesn't work for example someone's following the natural protocol at least by the eighth week even if they get retested and things aren't better that they've done everything they need to do to prepare themselves to take thyroid hormones. I don't want anyone to be scared about that because no one wants to take medication, right? They call it medication. But I like to let people know it's not medication. Medication is something like the birth control pill which manipulates your body into doing something it was never meant to do and that's why there is crazy eft up side effects with things like that. That's not the case with thyroid hormones. You're just giving yourself something you don't have that you need so I don't want people to be scared about going on thyroid hormones. It can be scary, but I also want to say this too: If you've been untreated for a long time like years like I was and the systems in your body are falling apart, right, you've got all these patchwork sub-diseases happening, sometimes going on thyroid hormone is the only option at that point because it's gone so far back that in order to even recover from any of those patchworks things that are tangents you need to be in a non-hypothyroid state because a non-hypothyroid state for humans again is a Goldilocks. Not too hot. Not too cold. We're all 98.6 degrees for a reason in the afternoon because we've got enzymatic processes and things in our bodies that have to be at the right temp. Same with Iizard or a cow, they all have their own set of DNA, their own temperature standers. Okay. Sometimes, you have to go on thyroid hormone to get un-hypothyroid so that rate so that you can then correct all the things that went wrong. And then at that point, all right I'm feeling great. I'm in a great state. I'm all fixed. Now, I can try to get off thyroid hormone and see if my own thyroid hormone kicks back.
[00:48:11] My own thyroid kick back halfway after 13 years. Some people have completely got off all thyroid hormone medication completely after a few years. I don't want anyone to think that just because they have to go on thyroid hormones that it's also for life. And if it is, that's okay. It's okay but it's not always. You can spend years trying to correct something naturally. I've seen people suffer and go "I still go on meds. I don't want to go on meds." And you're like "Okay. So, but you're dying slowly. Are you enjoying that?"
Vanessa: [00:48:36] Right.
Elle: [00:48:39] How long are you willing to live that way? Right? How long are you willing to do this for? At some point, you have to get on hypothyroid. Sometimes that requires going on thyroid hormone replacement.
Vanessa: [00:48:47] Could you think of it more as a supplement than a medication?
Elle: [00:48:50] Yeah. Other than supplement really is something you could just buy over the counter and you can't do that with thyroid hormones. But I do. I think of it that way. It's bioidentical hormone replacement which is not manipulating your body into something it's not meant to do. That's why when you hear all of these drug commercials, right, these crazy symptoms and stuff. It's because yeah, those things are manipulating things that are not meant to be manipulated. When you do that, you've got problems.
[00:49:18] And by the way, just on that same note. This is going to sound random to make this comparison. If you're a vegan or vegetarian which is a choice, you're also making the choice to go against what your body and your DNA as a human being expects of you. There's nothing wrong with that but just know that that breeds its own set of problems and you've got to be careful. That's why vegans or vegetarians get low in B12. Why you think that is? Because humans are meant to eat meat. So, if you're going to go against what--. It's an ethical choice. I mean I'm willing to have this discussion with anybody. I'm not downing it. If you want to be a vegetarian or vegan that's your choice but just know, it's not inherently who you are as a human being. And so, if you're deciding to go against it, be careful.
Vanessa: [00:50:01] I agree. I mean that's being a vegetarian for 17 years before I came to keto. Now, on that topic, I wanted to ask you as a wrapping up what your opinion is on the carnivore trend.
Elle: [00:50:14] I think it's hilarious. I actually like it. I think it's hysterical. All right. I would say this for myself. I personally feel better when I don't eat a lot of carbs. I really do. Now, I was also insulin resistant. Okay. So, at one point is prediabetic. You wouldn't be able to tell by the way. Just want to let you know, if you looked at me no one would ever guess. I worked out every day. You would never know that I was pre-diabetic. I feel better with lack of carbs in my life. There's no question about it. I kind of know what my threshold is. Robb Wolfe is great at talking about that too. Finding your own carbohydrate threshold and your own protein threshold etcetera.
Vanessa: [00:50:45] Well, just what your opinion is on it. I mean I've had a similar experience. I did a seven-day trial of it and I'm kind of just… I'm not saying it's something I want to do full time, but I've noticed that I do feel good having less carbs than I was even doing on keto but I'm just curious on your opinion.
Elle: [00:51:02] Well, it's interesting because my brother did an experiment a while back where he was just eating--. Like he was having a green juice during the day. Like maybe 20 ounce and then he would have like some meat and fat and stuff in the evening which was pretty keto. He was on fire. I mean it certainly is a way to torch fat if you're in a good metabolic state. I think it was even Christie Brinkley, the famous model who was asked like "Hey, what was your diet back then?" I guess she was told by modeling agent at the time, they said "If you want to lose weight, eat fish in every meal. That's it. It's like "Okay. Guess what? That will work. That will work. I mean it will. Your brain might be starving, you know the thing is that if you're on the carnivore diet I'm not sure--. You would probably have to regulate some physical activity. Be more sensitive to your output or physical activity while in that state just because like that's how you have to be in keto. You don't want to burn glucose. Do you know what I mean? Or too much of it, right?
[00:51:57] I haven't fully tried a carnivore experiment but I'm totally willing to do that and probably will. Maybe I'll do it after this call and I'll start this week. Again, I don't know studies but this is what I know: We did live a carnivore diet as hunter gatherers many many times, many weeks, sometimes months. There's nothing wrong with it. I do believe in variation. I don't think anyone should be sticking to anything too strict. If you're feeling hungry and you wake up, don't IF, eat! There are days like I don't usually eat before one. I have a 46-hour meeting anyone else for the most part but look there are days I wake up and I'm kind of hungry. It might be bone broth and some butter. It might be half an avocado and salt. It might be just a little something but I'm not sticking to a strict thing because I'm keto and I'm IF. You have to listen your body.
[00:52:44] Now here's the thing, when you're hypothyroid you don't have any gauge. You've got cortisol off the roof. You've got no thyroid hormones. Most people are hypothyroid or craving the shit out of sugar and glucose and crap because again you have no energy from the thyroid, you're not satiated, and your body is like "Please! Help this woman move throughout her day." You're craving sugar. It's almost borderline food eating disorder kind of level of food obsession. That's because your body and your blood glucose is off because you're hypo. Okay? You kind of can't become intuitive with this stuff when you're hypothyroid. So, it's harder.
[00:53:19] At first when you're hypo and you're on your way to getting better you just might need to exercise a little bit more willpower. You might need to eat a little less fat than other paleo primal people until you get into the right mode. And maybe you need to eat a little bit more carbohydrate, hopefully healthy stuff like fruit. That's okay because things are off. Do you know what I mean? It's not what's right. It's what's right for right now if you're in that state. And so, people who are strict to macros… I think I am more fluid. I am more about eat a piece of fish by itself. That's okay. You can eat a piece. You don’t have to have the rainbow in every macro on your plate every time you eat. I'd like to get people out of that because if you don't have a thyroid problem and you go down this path of becoming fat adapted in paleo primal keto, what you'll notice is it becomes very intuitive. You know when you need a little fat for your brain. You know when you need an apple. You know when you need some glucose. It becomes pretty intuitive. It's harder when you're hypo to be intuitive because like I said there's things that are telling you to eat stuff you normally wouldn't get that message, right. But in general, it is about going down that road. When you become intuitive, it's more fluid. Sometimes I just eat a steak by itself. Then two hours later maybe I'd have an avocado. Maybe two hours after that. It's okay.
Vanessa: [00:54:32] I was just going to say that the one thing holding me back from full carnivore is avocado and 100% dark chocolate. My body craves and loves avocados and I do too.
Elle: [00:54:46] There are carbs in avocado and spinach. You know that.
Vanessa: [00:54:48] There are. There are. I like some kind of modified carnivore keto, I think is where I find like the sweet spot right now. But I find it interesting because carnivore is so extreme that it kind of has been getting a lot of attention right now. What I'd like to say is try carnivore meal. You don’t have to go full carnivore but do a carnivore meal, do a carnivore day and just see how you feel or how you respond with that, with less carbs. It's interesting. But going full carnivore I don't think is for most people.
Elle: [00:55:14] It's not. Same with just cycling in general, right. You can be keto a couple days a week and be super low carb or no carb and that's fine. What I think is more important is that to be human is to be flexible in almost every meaning of that word. Right? So we really should be going in and out of that state again unless you're in some medical situation that really requires--. If you're fighting cancer and you need to be in keto, hey be strict. But if you're a normal person in this world, it's not only just intuition but it's "Hey, it doesn't have to be a strict thing every day." That's not how life works.
[00:55:48] I also feel the same way about taking certain supplements. Some I take every day and some I practically don't. I don't know that we need to do every day. How is your week looking for macros, right? Do you need the color of rainbow in every plate? How did your week look? Did you have some char in there, some peppers? What's the color of your week, not every day trying to fit in 30 different colored vegetables. That's kind of stressful for me to be honest with you. It would be very expensive after a while. She raised a lot of stuff. And so, I'm just not into that.
[00:56:15] One thing too I want to mention is in this paleo primal keto sphere of low carb, often people overdo saturated fat meaning, because coconut and coconut products are so popular they're often overdoing one fat versus others. That was me. I just want to put out there "Hey, every once in a while, to instead of a spoon full of coconut butter, you can have a spoonful of olive oil or avocado oil." Right? Or have a slice of butter. Like switch up the types of fats because a lot of times people are pure on the saturated then there are other important fats out there. Some work well for others. Like my genetic test said that I have a lower threshold for saturated fat versus others. When I saw that I was like "Oh, I have been eating kind of too much coconut, too much coconut stuff." So, then I switched over. It was like "Oh, olive oil. Yeah, let's put some olive oil in there." Don't forget those people because I think--. I'm also with the saturated fat with animal fat. There's nothing wrong with that. Again, I just suggest that people switch it up. Maybe not all red meat. Get the fish. Get some other stuff going on in there.
Vanessa: [00:57:23] Right. And don't be maybe afraid to dial back on the fat a little bit too. You'll see that once you are fat adapted you're going to be able to burn body fat as well as dietary fat, you can access it, you're metabolically flexible to go in and out. That's one thing I talked about on the weekend at KetoCon too is it's really great, especially you eat a lot of fat at first when you're adapting you're creating these fat burning enzymes and stuff like that, but it doesn't have to be every day like you were saying those macros. Like I've got to hit 80% or I'm not going to be keto. I mean once you are fat adapted it's a different story.
Elle: [00:57:57] Totally. And I think that that's a really great point because accumulation--. Like if you had a ton of fat yesterday, has it all been burned by tomorrow or are you continually piling on top of it? If you have weight that you are needing to get off your body--. I mean someone posted on Instagram. I forget one of our keto people. Probably someone at the KetoCon who said something like "Hey, if you need to burn fat, maybe stop shoving your face fat." Now, that sounds weird because we actually feed obese people literally just fat to burn fat. Okay? So, we do know that that's okay but again there is a threshold, right? If you already don't have a low percentage of body fat and you need to lose body fat, then yes you might need to consume a little less fat than the person who is already there. Then once you've torched all that fat, then your dietary fat can increase because now you're metabolically--. You know what I mean?
[00:58:41] I agree, and I've run into that problem. You can get fat on a low carb diet. If you eat more fat then you're processing and burning, right? It's a tricky slope. It's not eat all the fat you want in the world, it's what's right for you. Again, this is where the macros become problematic, I think if you're just doing percentages every day. It's you got to go by how you feel. I don’t know about you. When I eat too much fat, it feels gross and you kind of know it. You feel it.
Vanessa: [00:59:05] Can you paint a picture for us of what health and life looks and feels like for you today having such an optimized thyroid?
Elle: [00:59:13] Oh my God. It's like a 180. I'll tell you this. Literally, there are moments that I still cry out of pure gratitude and joy for not feeling the way I once did. It never gets old because I have people who I talk to every day crying to me from all over the world who are in a place that I once was. I tear up all the time and I'm tearing up now and have goosebumps because it is so horrible, and it is so lonely. All I can say is that it is fixable. You keep persevering. You'll get there. My life is amazing. I mean my level of mental output. I mean people just listening to this podcast can go "All right. She's probably like not crashing all day in exhaustion and happiness quotient."
[00:59:56] I mean because again you are depressed. You have more T3 receptors in your brain than anywhere else, so you are happier. I can sustain long workouts. If I want to work out five hours a day I could. I mean again there's no like energy top off for me at this point where when you're hypo you are. You can't do stuff for very long. My skin--. I mean everything. I've never had a gynecological problems since I was hypothyroid. Everything's regular. My skin is great. I look young. My hair is full. It's curly again. I have no constipation. It's the opposite. Everything in my life is exactly the opposite. It's incredible.
[01:00:29] I'm here to tell you that it's achievable. It actually doesn't take long. If you start the process a naturally protocol you could 68 weeks turn something around and be on the right track. If that doesn't work you need to go on thyroid hormones you're really looking at sometimes three to six months to feel great. Great! And max a year. That would be for extremely complicated horrific situation with someone riddled with multiple diseases. Other than that, it's a pretty quick turnaround to get optimized on thyroid hormones once you start it and if you're doing it properly with the right person and with the right eating and lifestyle paradigm. This is actually something that's quickly solvable. I'm just here as an example. I know how bad it is.
[01:01:12] Think about it. I suffered for six years. Can you imagine? I was single then. "Oh hey, want to date me? I don't know what's going wrong with me. I'm bleeding all the time. We don't know what that is. Oh, and I've been misdiagnosed--." I mean who can even--. Are you kidding me? Friendships are suffering much less how can you even live your life normally? It's like everything gets put on hold. Do you know what I mean?
Vanessa: [01:01:32] Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I mean I can tell you my relationship with my husband now is just a dream. I'm like "Wow! You must really love me to put up with all of that."
Elle: [01:01:44] Love me.
Vanessa: [01:01:47] Yeah, quality relationship is so important.
Elle: [01:01:48] Yeah, then you feel like saying "Oh my God, I'm sorry. I didn't know. I'm so sorry I acted that way. I didn't know." It goes both ways. Our spouses and partners and friends and family have to learn what's on the other side of this. And then also too, you have to own up to it too because if you are shitty and you are at hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue and stuff and you now know and you're better and you look back and you go "Oh my God, I acted that way." Call up people and start to explain and apologize.
Vanessa: [01:02:13] Yeah, right. I agree. Now Elle, where can people find out more about your book and follow you online?
Elle: [01:02:19] Well, you can go to elleruss.com E-L-L-E-R-U-S-S dot com. And again, you don't have to buy my book. You could download a free thyroid guide that will really get you on the right track. You can reach out if you want personal private thyroid coaching. And then also, Amazon.com for my book The Paleo Thyroid Solution. Or most Barnes and Noble stores features that prominently. And then every Monday you can hear me on the Primal Blueprint podcast, talking to people like you and some people to interview, mind, body, and health. Yeah. All of my social media links _elleruss on Instagram but you can reach all of that through my website as well.
Vanessa: [01:02:51] Great. We'll definitely put a lot of the things that you mentioned in the show notes especially that yahoo group because I know it sounds like such an incredible blessing to have that especially when you first found it. So, we'll be sure to put that in the show notes. Thank you so much for joining us today, Elle. You're such a fountain of knowledge when it comes to thyroid. I know people are going to get so much out of this and out of your book as well.
Elle: [01:03:13] Thank you and thank you so much for all the work you're doing because you're spreading the right information. In this day and age with podcasts and all this kind of stuff out there, there's no reason everyone gets free help from us.
Vanessa: [01:03:24] I love that. I love that. Thanks so much Elle.
[01:03:27] Thank you guys so much for tuning in today. Wow! Elle has so much incredible knowledge about the thyroid. I so enjoy speaking with her. I love her energy. I left her passion. She has had such a health transformation in her own life and you can see how passionate she is about helping other people get there as well. I hope you enjoy the episode as much as I did.
[01:03:50] If you want more information on the 28-Day Ketogenic Girl Challenge, you can check it out at ketogenicgirl.com. It has twenty-eight days of meal plans. It has all of the coaching and support that comes with it as well. I love helping people make the transition to keto if they're brand new to it or they've been doing it for a while and not seeing the results that they want to see. You can check that all out at ketogenicgirl.com. Until next week's episode. Have a fat filled week. Bye for now.